One iconic hero that has had several successors and transformations is the female super heroine Bat-girl.
Bat-girl was first introduced in 1961 in Batman #139. She was the niece of the original Batwoman (Kathy Kane – Detective comics #233 published 1956) and became bat-girl after discovering her Aunt’s dual identity. However her character was short lived and was abandoned in 1964 along with other Batman related characters.
The iconic Bat-girl Barbara Gordon was created in 1967 by the Batman TV series in order to attract female viewership.
Her character was later adapted for the comics with Barbara Gordon/Bat-girl appearing in Detective Comics #359. Barbara Gordon would remain as Bat-girl allying herself with different heroes and appearing in several DC comics.
This would change in 1988 when DC attempted to retire the character in Bat-girl special #1 and in Alan Moore’s Batman: the killing joke. It was in the killing joke that the Joker shoots and paralyzes Barbara Gordon. This does not end Barbara Gordon’s story as she is later revived as the information Broker “Oracle.”
In 1999 a new Bat-girl was introduced in Batman:Shadow of the Bat #83. This new Bat-girl is later revealed as Helen Bertinelli (aka Huntress) in Batman:Legends of the Dark knight #120. Bertinelli’s role as Bat-girl is short lived as she is forced to give up the identity of Bat-girl by Oracle (Bat-girl).
The mantle of Bat-girl would be later passed to Cassandra Cain (introduced in Batman #567) that same year, with the approval of Batman and Oracle.
Cain remained as Bat-girl until the Batman’s disappearance storyline (2009-2010) where she would hand over the Bat-girl mantle to Stephanie Brown (first appearance Detective Comics #647) (aka Spoiler aka Robin).
In 2011 DC relaunched their characters with the new 52 storyline. This storyline rewrote the continuity with Barbara Gordon becoming Bat-girl again after undergoing experimental surgery at a South African clinic….